Posts tagged ‘Food’

Eats: Vietnamese dishes

It’s been ages since I posted a recipe, so sorry. I’m mourning a batch of wine lost due to recent high and uneven temps in NSW and the presence of my MIL for curbing my culinary hobby.

Anyway, thanks to the wonderful SBS channel (our multi-cultural free tv channel)  who produce great foodie shows, you can watch exciting vietnamese recipes, as selected and prepared by Luke Nguyen.  I’m stoked to finally learn the secrets of this cuisine.


December 18, 2009 at 11:43 am 2 comments

Vintner mania

VinesThis is winter in the vineyards. The ground is green but the vines are bare. Short T-trunks pruned to spurs in wired rows, waiting for summer. Gnarled and ugly, these are the treasures of vinification.

We’re in a few of the prolific wine making regions around Adelaide in South Australia. We travelled to McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and the Barossa. The panoramic profile of each region is clearly different, but it takes lots of tastings to understand how the terroir determines the grapes and the winemaker’s skills in each season’s batch. Even the influence of consumer fashions affect the output. Suffice to say, we were lucky, and impressed, by our sips through SA wine country.

Adelaide city itself was a surprise for us. Coming from busy Sydney, Adelaide is a contrast – with beautifully planned open areas, low traffic and convenient public facilities, it was a breeze to take in. Food was great and the attending services high. If  they could fix their weird tasting water and allow longer shop opening times, they’d have everything. Adelaide city

It’s a good trip when we get to taste some of the best produce of the region, see whales and get some unusual shopping done. We’re gonna need more space for the wine bottles.

at Penfolds <–We couldn’t afford these but we found a surprisingly good cellardoor-only white at Penfolds.  They celebrated 165 years the day we visited so we got to taste some special bottles.

Also in the Barossa, at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. we went a little crazy with photographing and tasting everything they had. Super yummy and the highlight of the trip. If you get the chance, try her products; burnt fig ice-cream, vino cotto, raspberry and pomegranate jam, and her signature verjuice. They are all fantastic.

MB's studio kitchen

When in a new place, we try not to eat usual dishes that we do in Sydney. We did just that in Adelaide, taking seats at places serving Argentinian, French and Italian cuisines, local cheeses, amazingly smooth fudge and heavily-roasted coffee that Adelaidians seem to favour. Their famous Central Market is worth a visit for the cheeses and meats. Sadly, they don’t trade on Sunday – something we can’t understand. Nor the free parking for cars in the city on Saturday nights. But then this city also provides free and environmentally friendly public transport, it is surrounded by parklands, there’s low population and wide streets, heaps of sporting activities sponsored by local councils, and no tolls on highways. There’s much to like about Adelaide.

And so, our holiday gastronomie.

August 10, 2009 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

For the lust of food

What do you do during lunchbreak? Assuming you work regular office hours and mostly desk-lunched.

I’m in a high capacity phase and I’m bored. I’m PMS-ing and I’m anxious and I’m starting to feel bloaty and brittle. My concentration is scattered and I’m relishing brain-dead repetitive work. Things could be worse. I mean, I’m going on holiday, chores are done, my back has stopped aching from a bend maneuver during sports (thank you, pain meds) and on occasion, I feel quite smug about something or other.

Anyway, back to the question above. My answers are that cheezburger site (you know the one) and food blogs–my latest addiction. So I’m surfing the net, checking out blogs and bloggers. It Is Overwhelming. There are a gazillion million sites and more threads than I care about. Do these people have lives other than cooking and eating. OMG, did I just say that? Moi, who, on other than lesbians, thinks and talks only about food? (see PMS clue above).

The Times Online has an article listing the current best 50 food sites. I’m exhausted by page 3 of 5. This is the second Best of site I’ve visited this week, with more links than I could check.

I think a big clue to my drowned look has to be the design concepts of each site—I’ve broken them down to these areas:

  • Cuisine (by ethnicity)
  • Local cuisine (including think/buy local, slow food, be politically green, vegetarianism and other food cultures)
  • Location (eg New York and Sydney have peculiar and strong foodie styles)
  • Food photography and design
  • Inside the F&B industry
  • Accessories (including utensils, cookbooks, gardening, husbandry and so on)
  • And, of course, recipes.

So what’s wrong with them? Nothing. But because I’m here already let me recount why I hop sites:

  • I am not a “one cuisine” eater
  • Being a ‘green’ foodie takes time to develop. Can’t blog about it for years, and I live in an apartment. I don’t have a garden, although our planter boxes are doing well, thank you. In Australia, farmers tend to export their best stuff and charge high prices locally. Crazy, I know.
  • Location specific food cultures – Great! If I lived in all those places. I’ll give you an example. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s summer. Food blogs located therein are all talking about the same produce. I’m in the south, it’s winter. Huge disconnect here. It’s a lot like fashion, innit?
  • Accesorising my food, Hello? I cook at home, for two people. Who has the time. Besides, my gf is a chef. She gives me all the advice I want.
  • Recipes. My latest effort at internet recipe searching for lime pickle gave me over 30 recipes. In the end I hybrid three of them to make a pickle I can’t check for two weeks. What if I had searched for Roast Chicken? Gazoinks!

Yet, despite these criticisms, I love the anecdotes, wee research papers disquised as blog posts, the prizes and the rare glimpse of something really useful I can use in my kitchen. Oh yes, and the pretty pics. Food art is so stylish.

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July 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.